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  "At Home in Volunteer Valley"  
© Pat Richardson 2000

Dedicated to Frank Woodruff of Nambucca Lions Club

And April sees us every Anzac Day,
The Valley Band steps off with youthful gait,
The marchers from World War Two, Korea and Vietnam,
And UN conflicts, police keeping up to date,
Swing down the main street from the Catholic Church,
Followed by the Girl Guides, Scouts and schools.
We follow the procession down the hill,
And Bob recites 'They shall not grow old,
As we that are left grow old …'
And we reply, 'We shall remember them,
We shall remember them.'
We lay our tributes at the cenotaph.
The men put hands on breast and bow,
'The last post" sounds across the ever larger crowd.
The river sparkles in the autumn sun.
And Anzac Day is over for another year……

Remember those who are left behind.
As old soldiers make their way, stage left,
The War widows and Legatees.

In May, the local Show, brings 'worthies' from the hills,
The bulls, the chooks, the cakes, the Grand Parade
The dressage and the horse jumps and the spills,
The Ferris Wheel with usual roaring trade.
The Show committee watches every cloud.
It's too late to claim the rain insurance now.

June, a slow and simple month…
Sees the local football teams attempt to score,
The soccer, under 9's, the squash, the darts,
The bowls, the snooker, and the Tae Kwon Do,
On volunteers all these clubs depend,
Its just hard work, and raffles without end!

July, the wind goes straight through you,
Coming down from Dorrigo.
The Wednesday Club ,
Year after year, their volunteers entertain,
Encourage disabled, infirm and aged.

Senior Cits, with Ivy at the helm, each week
brings companionship and cheer to many aged,
Some only just moved here.
Meals on Wheels, in great demand,
And Telecross, the only voice some old folk hear each day,
When volunteers ring to see they are okay.

August. Down the forest in the midst of town,
Janette toils beside her Community Justice charges
to keep the place in pristine, jungle order….
The Bush fire brigades do their final burns,
And check to get their gear in fighting order.

Sept. 'The golden oldies' down at Gordon Park,
Twice a week they serve and volley as of yore.
Club members keep the courts all swept and clean.
The players, three Pats, Joan Budden, Jean and Lionel,
Daphne, Peggy, Ron, Tom,Terry, and many more,
They run about until the day gets hot,
At set end, they yell out, "Last game, Dot!'.

October. The Back to Bowra procession.
The bullock wagon shows us
how hard work on the farms,
Mum and dad, and all the kids,
the floods, the fires, the toil and woe,
Our valley's still a battler's place, you know.

November. All the good works wind up for the year,
The P & C's, Red Cross, the Mothers Clubs,
All committees stop right now,
until the kids are safely back at School …
Woops! The local tip's on fire once again,
Call for Michael and his volunteer firemen.

December…the valley battens down for family and friends.
Our Lifesavers patrol the beaches and the surf,
The holiday flats are filled with sunburnt folk.
Tourists fill the parks, White Albatross, Golden Sands.
Aukaka, Foreshore, the B & B's, the town explodes…
The Rescue Squads stand by to keep us safe,
On road or sea they wait to take the calls.

January…the crowds disperse.. …leaving us
To golden sands, our green and shady hills.
Australia Day dawns…our Valley's Citizens of the year…
A dozen get the nod, from those who could be named.
The Valley Singers lead 'Advance Australia Fair'
The Lions run the Aussie picnic Day with
damper, tea and scones, sack races for the kids,
The crab race draws a major crowd
The Raft race…the floating dunny does a
Graceful dive, but manages to stay afloat, flags still flying!

February, the kids are back at school…the Arts Council
Runs their Valentines party…three hours the concert runs!!!
Our volunteers entertain other volunteers a treat.
The theme of 'Luv' is never out of date.
The Torchies, Octavians, Vallarinas,
Alison Launts, the Valley Singers,
Jo Parkers teen agers,. The Valley Entertainers.

March…is 'Red Cross Calling' doorknock once again,
The Senior Cits Week Concert packs them in..
It's Easter when the kids parade the street,
With Easter Bonnets, rabbit ears the lot…
The tourists here again, the hols are on,
The Service Clubs revive the drivers
all night long.

And so here we are, its Anzac Day again.
The flag is flying half-mast all today
The rhythm of our lives is marked and
Clear…a steady beat of helpers thru the year.
Although statistics show our Valley short on wealth,
Statistics never show those who give 'themself'
To make it safe and friendly through the years,
we have our band of willing volunteers!!!


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